Start the day with a plan…

“The key to victory [is] creating the right routines.”

Charles Duhigg

Over the years I have found that having a morning routine is what sets the day up for maximum productivity and enjoyment. I have tried many different things in an attempt to find just the right way to start my day and while I haven’t settled on a “perfect” routine just yet I am pretty happy with the routine listed below that I use to start each day the right way.

  1. Ice Water – I start each morning with a big (32oz) glass of ice water to rehydrate after sleeping. Yes, even before my beloved coffee… Double bonus is that there is nothing like a glass of ice water to wake up the mind!
  2. Meditation – This is a relatively new addition to my routine but is now a critical component of my morning routine. I meditate for 15-20 minutes each morning as soon as I have had my ice water and before I look at any type of electronic devices.
  3. Devotional & Journal – I find that reading, studying and praying over a scripture based devotional is very powerful, especially after time spent in meditation. The second part of this routine is a daily journal. The topics I write about can be anything that is on my mind but I always include a portion of my time focused on gratitude and those things that I am especially grateful from the previous 24 hours.
  4. Leadership Quote & Blog – Yes, I choose my quote and write my blog post each morning. Occasionally time compression will dictate a later quote or blog post but 99% of the time this is part of my morning routine. I have found that I really enjoy framing my day by taking time to reflect on leadership or life.
  5. Physical Fitness – I have come to the realization that in order for me to be at peak effectiveness I need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Sometimes I can’t always get it in during the morning before work, but if I can find a way I will. I am much more focused and efficient through the day when I start the day with a hard workout.

What are your routines? Do you feel “off” when your routine is disrupted?

“To me” versus “for me”

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.”

Gen. George S. Patton

Why did this happen to me?

Versus…

God, why did this happen for me?

Change just two words in the sentences above and you move from being a victim to being a person with a purpose.

The minute you accept a challenge as being something that is supposed to make you better, so that you can improve, you begin to win. I will fully admit that there have been, and will continue to be, times in life where I wonder why things have to be so challenging. Shouldn’t some things just be easy? The problem is that the things are the easiest are the ones you take for granted. They are the things that don’t have the lasting meaning and impact. Oh but when you embrace the challenge, lean into the suck, build a win by overcoming your self-imposed limitations, that’s when the magic really happens…

D-Day – June 6, 1944

“This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.”

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Seventy five years ago today the largest seaborne military operation in history was taking place. I can’t begin to imagine what the young men who were preparing to jump out of airplanes or run off their landing craft onto the beaches were feeling and thinking. They were part of a great fight against evil and tyranny but I am sure most of them were simply thinking of their loved ones back home and praying for survival. They were all scared and ready to get it over with.

I am a huge history buff and have read dozens of books on the second world war and about D-Day specifically. The level of courage this entire generation displayed on that day, and throughout the entire second world war is incredible. They were committed to doing something because it was right, not because they themselves were going to get something from it, nor because our country was seeking power and domination. They did what had to be done. And on this morning seventy five years ago, they made history and forever changed the world. Thank you to the greatest generation for making these past seventy five years possible.

There is something special about the commitment it takes to embark on a plan and set out with 100% commitment to success. No alternatives, no room for failure. Simply the intense focus on getting it done, no matter what. How often in life do we approach any challenge with this degree of commitment or resolve? What would we do differently if we did?

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